1. Smoke detectors – Smoke detectors should be installed in every sleeping room and outside of every sleeping room and at least one on every floor, usually near sleeping rooms. Smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years. If age cannot be verified, we recommend replacing them all.
  2. Carbon monoxide detectors – Provide according to manufacturer’s recommendations, typically in every sleeping room.
  3. Locks – Change locks on all the doors. Installing deadbolts may reduce insurance costs.
  4. Heating and air-conditioning systems – Most HVAC companies recommend annual inspection and service. We recommend a home warranty or service contract to ensure the equipment is properly maintained. It makes sense to protect these expensive systems.
  5. Main shut-offs – Find and mark the main shut-off for the heating, electrical, and plumbing systems. You need to be able to shut things off quickly in the event of an emergency.
  6. Electrical breakers – All circuit breakers in the electrical panel should be labeled for quick identification.
  7. Wood burning appliances – It is recommended to have chimneys inspected and swept annually.
  8. Outdoor air-conditioning unit – Make sure the unit is clear of any debris or vegetation.
  9. Clothes washing machines – Use stainless steel braided hoses instead of rubber hoses. This reduces the chances of water damage in the event of a ruptured hose.
  10. Clothes dryers – It is recommended to clean the vent annually to improve efficiency and reduce the chances of a fire.
  11. Fire extinguishers – Provide at least one fire extinguisher for every floor. The fire extinguisher in the kitchen should be suitable for grease fires.
  12. Fire escape routes – Plan fire escape routes from the upper stories. Obtain rope ladders is necessary.
  13. Safety improvements – If your inspector has recommended any safety improvements, these should be addressed immediately. This often includes electrical issues and trip hazards, for example.